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Globally, Unified Communications continues to expand at a rapid pace as its development positions the technology to meet broader enterprise business requirements. 2017 will see many changes especially involving cloud-based solutions, mobility friendly environments and improved digital assistance.

 At Sonoran Integrations, Unified Communications is a core part of our business operations. We get excited about searching the market for powerful communication solutions and have been devoted to connecting our clients to the right technology while offering unparalleled implementation support for today's leading cloud-based platforms.

 We find it incredibly exciting to watch technology evolve at a healthy pace, knowing how it can be such a benefit to our client's productivity. Here are the five key areas we predict to see many advancements and changes within the next year on the Unified Communications front.

 

Here Comes Generation Z

Every generation drives change within the workforce. Generation Z is beginning to emerge and they have grown up accustomed to a constant communication stream, content sharing and being able to have multiple options for receiving content. Businesses will need to adapt to Generation Z's expectation for high tool performance and their lack of loyalty for brands that become redundant.

Flexibility and interconnectivity are incredibly important to this cohort and they will expect organizations to be responsive and aligned to technological changes.

 

Mobile Workstyle

The mobile workstyle trend shall rule. As of late 2016, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic and in the workforce, more and more employees are turning to their mobile devices to perform their business tasks. While desktops still offer broader functionality, it has faded to being utilized as a secondary device. This behavior will see an increase in technology development to adapt applications to mobile devices first, followed by desktop and web clients.

We will continue to see more demand and reliance on smart devices that can always keep us connected. The workplace is evolving and adapting to employees working where they feel they are most productive - whether that be the traditional office, home or even an airplane.

 

Shift to the Cloud

The two major types of phone systems, PBX and Key Systems have become a thing of the past as their maintenance costs, complex upgrades and difficulty scaling cannot compete with the simplicity of dynamic cloud-based operations or modern VoIP systems. Cloud Unified Communications has made enterprise IT decision makers take notice and begin to upgrade and make the move to the leading technology trends. This is to maximize efficiency and to minimize costs.

 

Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Bots and digital assistance are being welcomed as fantastic tools to improve speed and accuracy of decision-making within the workplace. Both these tools create stronger contextual awareness by utilizing large amounts of customer data and improved analytical tools. Both bots and digital assistance are becoming extremely common within Contact Center and Sales industries.

 2017 will see artificial intelligence and bots emerge that address productivity pain points such as the amount of time workers need to spend organizing and assigning tasks. Currently, it is estimated that the average workers spend over two hours per day just searching for information and scheduling meetings. Add up those hours over the span of a year and you can certainly see why artificial intelligence will be embraced by organizations to streamline efficiencies, reduce distractions and improve their bottom line.

 

Integrated Collaboration

 Messaging applications will continue to grow and expand from social conversations to tools for business team collaborations and communication. Heavy email usage will be phased out in favor of integrated messaging, voice and conferencing options. Full stack solutions designed to eliminate integration and compatibility issues will see continued development and enterprise organizations will upgrade, eager to utilize the technology to enhance productivity and collaboration within their workplace.

 

We hope you are as excited as we are about watching the future of Unified Communications flourish and the gains in productivity and process efficiencies it will bring.

Your organization may currently have a number of collaborative tools, but they may not be backed by an intelligent Unified Communications strategy. Why not make this the year to review what cloud-based solutions could be leveraged by your business to support the multi-faceted needs of today's employees and customers.